Affordable Care Act to bring more part-time jobs, reduced hours for workers

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 8:55 AM

(KMOV) --  One of the direct impacts from the new legislation, Affordable Care Act are more part-time jobs and reduced hours for workers.

Businesses employing 50 or more workers must offer health insurance or pay $2,000 for every full-time worker which is already leaving some local workers with few options.

“I was close to 40 hours, about 30 hours at least. Then about a month ago, boom, no more than 29 hours,” said Rose Whitten.

She is not alone, a number of smaller companies and some bigger ones across the country have to cut workers’ hours so the workers are not considered full-time.

"Obviously that means less money to go toward bills obviously; we know we still have a car payment,” said Whitten.

Tom McAuliffe with the Missouri Foundation for Health said he’s not surprised, “One of the things about this law, you are going to see people trying to get around components.”

He calls it the law of unintended consequences; lawmakers did not foresee this reaction from businesses. But he said congress can fix it.

"They have set a full-time worker at 30 hours.  I think what they will do instead of saying it is all or nothing; a $2,000 or $3,000 fine. Between 30 and 35 hours, they will have some sort of sliding scale of how much of a fine you might pay,” said McAuliffe.

He said no one wants to see a workforce made up of part-time workers.

“It’s very frustrating actually.  I did previously work a full-time 40 hour-a-week job and was hoping to go back to that soon,” said Whitten. "Now this is definitely something that is going to be coming in to play I am definitely going to be doing some research to learn what it’s about.”

To help reduce the impact of this, administration put off penalties on businesses until 2015, which could give Congress time to find a solution. Some companies are already reducing worker hours although some big name companies including Starbucks and Firehouse Subs say they will not cut worker hours.

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